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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  March 5, 2011 12:00pm-12:48pm EST

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how to change things. like how to actually teach successfully. how to create the islands of excellence. and they did it by teaching differently. i mean, we didn't know how to tell our people to teach. now we can say, okay, here's what it takes, you know? it takes being very clear about what vision you're working toward. like where are we going to be by the end of the year? you know, what are you going to accomplish with your kids this year that will make a meaningful difference in their lives. once you figure that out you spend half the kids, the kids families their influencers to believe that's important in their lives. and if they work harder than they've ever worked before they can get there. so you get your kids working with you and then everything is so much easier. you have to be incredibly goal-oriented. maximize every second. you realize -- i don't have enough time. i got to get my kids here early and get them to stay late. many other things happen. you realize the level of resourcefulness required to meet all your kids' extra needs. but you know what?
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they accomplish the goals. and so you sort of redefine the role of the teacher. .. change >> forgive me for obsessing about your personal check any of the it is like you go on a road that starts with a noble ambition which is kind of an elitist ambition. ping abreast of this bring the best and brightest into the world and now it is like a
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marxist. i mean in the best sense of that word. i am not criticizing you at all. you are not a total marxist because when we were back there and they asked you to test the microphone by using the word p, like peter picks a pumpkin. [talking over each other] >> i was talking to him. honestly, this has been an unbelievable journey and an illuminating one. i am learning from our people and others and working alongside the communities which is why i wanted to write this book which is a mystifying experience. conceptually, you know that kids in low-income communities have the full potential to have an excellent education but now we know really it is within our reach to do this and there's nothing magic about it.
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there's nothing out of reach but also nothing easy about it. it takes the same discipline and leadership that it takes to attain outcomes in any other thinking. that is why in this end the question is do people believe this is a crisis? if we do then we need to approach it the same way we would any great crisis that we know we can solve and that is what i fear we are not doing. >> how many kids do we have at the moment? how many thousand applicants? >> 47,000. it defense on federal funding but also 5300. >> so you are selective at this point. >> i don't view this as elitist.
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>> i was establishing -- my point was ten years ago, what would those two numbers have been? >> we had 4,000 applicants and probably brought in 5 or 600. >> part of the dramatic increase in your popularity has to do with this movement that is catching fire and also the economy. am i right? you are beneficiaries of -- >> what people don't know because they view it as an outpouring of idealism or from this generation they view it as the economy. we are building a movement. every year we take successful teachers. we probably have 70 equipment
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directors who each have partners in crime or recent college grads and give them three or four campuses and not just find anyone but the people you believe have leadership ability necessary for transformational teachers with real positions of influence long-term. they sit down one on one. we met with 20,000 of these geniuses who are going to law school and met school or we are meeting lots more people who are interested in this because of the friends before and what not but we are completely changing their minds because our recruitment directors sit down and share their personal experiences. they say -- think about a guy who has spent the day with him yesterday a director. he is now running our office. he says i was placed in phoenix and started teaching fourth grade.
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my kids came into my room at the second grade level. i fell in love with my kids. they made a couple years of progress in the first year. they came in at the first grade level. i asked my principal if i can teach them again. two armored -- two more years of progress. can you think of anything that would give you a bigger responsibility or impact right out of college? secondly, this is something our generation can take one and fix and be part of the group of people who will fix that problem. so i actually think the economy is a great enable their. we ran around and told everyone the silver lining in this economic environment is it has given the true leaders real license to think even more broadly about their futures and given the precious resource as education is talented. we have to jump into that and list that. the foundations were already
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there. >> same thing we were talking about with katrina. you build a structure and -- >> be ready to take advantage of the crisis and make it into an opportunity. >> the last time this happened was during the depression. the well-documented affect of the depression was the contraction of the private economy caused an awful lot of talented people to go into the public school system and the generation that emerged from schools in the depression which was one of the most successful people well educated generation where the and intended beneficiaries of this economic calamity. it is a fascinating scene. we spend so much time be moaning our misfortune, whether it is a hurricane or economic hard times that we forget an incredibly
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fertile period where you can build -- >> a compelling point. and we have lots of crises we should take advantage of to solve the tuned crisis. >> i don't know. i don't know. does paul want to ask nasty questions? [inaudible] >> why don't you come in and -- [talking over each other] >> i have one question and see if you can tell it is written by me. i am curious. how many teachable america alumni currently in the program are here? pretty amazing.
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first question. was there a time where american education was not in crisis? >> some -- >> you can just say yes if you want. >> no. i think we have had this issue -- i have limited historical knowledge myself but i am sure we have had these issues forever. we have been in denial about this particular issue that we are working to address. i think 20 years ago a lot of people were in denial about the very existence of what we call today educational inequity. >> security offices and police and less and less recess time, school menus that require a law degree to decipher with rule upon rules, longer school days, why would a child want to go to
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school? >> i think about the school's, talking about these transformational schools. kids are dying to be in school because first of all the principal and teachers love their kids and they build a community among them and the kids know that they will work incredibly hard but there is a huge pay off for that. i don't know that there's a place they would rather be. >> lots and lots of questions from alums in the organization. this one begins with being an alum i am completely on board with the belief that all students can learn. however, earlier in the school year the new york times covered a study that pointed to statistics showing that when stripped of all society and economic factors african-american boys are
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underperforming compared to their female african-american peers as well as other non black students. what are you and tea as a's fox on this? what do you think are ways to shift education focus to address these statistics? >> meaning even outside of the context of low income communities. i feel like it will take me out of -- i think about my own kids who go to public school up here. it is very diverse but not as economically disadvantaged from all the background or racial backgrounds, and honestly the puzzle of how to think that will work for all of his is different from the puzzle of making the school i have been talking about work so i am hesitant. what we need to understand is
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where the school out there that are working 5 solid -- for african-american kids across these backgrounds, let's find out. there are schools working for those kids. let's find out even if there's just one where they are doing differently, and there it lies the key to unlocking the answer to that question. >> you can jump in whenever you want with any of these questions if you have comments to add. for instance, is there a consideration to extend teachable america to training and supporting the administration? >> no. we are going to stay focused on our core mission of channeling a lot of talent and energy in this direction. we have a whole priority around accelerating leadership of our alumni in ways that are
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strategic for the movement and we think supporting them to become principals is one huge focus. among others. helping support them to run for elected office and advocacy organizations and social enterprises or others. we partner with others to do this. we partner with folks out there with management organizations or district universities or other training programs to set our people up with school leadership. >> you bring up joel kline quite a lot and you seem to admire him. what do you think of joel kline's successor? >> it is too early to tell. but i think that her commitment -- she is clearly very committed for all the right reasons. we will see what happens.
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[laughter] i think we should reach the point that when we are trying to figure out who should be the superintendent of the largest schools in newark or new jersey which is in the midst of superintendent surge or atlanta or chicago, some of the best jobs on the planet, they should be. we should be considering slates of people who have all the foundational experience necessary to do that job. people who talk in transformational ways or run transformational schools or support transformational schools. can you imagine the much talked about for its ceo's election just stepping back and deciding someone who hasn't worked in corporate america shouldn't be the ceo? we would never do it.
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this is why i say sometimes i wonder if we think this is a true crisis. but we can't blame the mayor fully because the fact is we don't have that. we don't people -- that is what we need. the longer we stay off the development of true people development systems the longer we just have to lurch from one silver bullet to another and try random things and pray that they work which is pretty much where we are at the moment. [laughter] >> how can schools strive towards excellence and key competency of reading people will writing, math etc. they do so at the expense of the arts and physical education. do you believe these subjects are necessarily a part of an educational system? and if so, how?
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>> all kids should have enrichment opportunities. go visit if you haven't already, schools that are actually not only getting good test results but really trying to send their kids up beyond the level playing field with kids in communities where parents are giving them that or -- absolutely. i think we need the whole picture. >> when you come back to the new york public library in 20 years from now, what difference do you think we will find in the education system? >> it is so hard to predict. i think about the fact that even four years ago if we had come
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together and you had said what are the most impossible school systems in the country? i would have said new orleans and washington d.c.. to think those are two of the fastest improving right now, i think things are moving quickly. the snowball is moving down the hill. it will be easy to underestimate the progress we can make in 20 years. what i am hoping is in the way we have growing numbers, hundreds of incredibly high performing schools that we could never have imagined, even 12 years ago that we would have, i hope we have proved points at the whole system level and i think once we do the proof that this is possible, i do -- we could talk about tipping points. we are going to get to the tipping point where people realize we can do this and one thing leads to another and hopefully we are doing all right things and i think it is within
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our reach. in 20 years we should see in an aggregate sense the achievement gap closing in a big way. >> we are getting to be tipping point. what is the relationship between teachers's excellent performance and pay? >> i think we need to absolutely think completely differently about the whole human capital picture to use that terrible jargon term, we need to free our district and school principals ultimately up to -- they need to be obsessing at all times around how to attract and select great people and develop them and retain them and compensate them. ultimately we need to give them lots more flexibility over their compensation dollars so that they can retain and value the people who are making the biggest impact.
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>> if they are paid more than better teachers? >> i think ultimately, i don't know. what would the research showed? what we look across sectors as well? we should be valuing our most effective teachers from a compensation perspective and certainly from the research we have done ourselves. even what we might consider $15,000 pay jumps for teachers who are effective in years 4 to 8 would have serious retentions gains. >> 5 might. the issue is not an absolute level of compensation but comparative compensation. especially so much of what you have been trying to do is to rehabilitate the profession, to taken more seriously, to attract different kinds of people and part of the way we rehabilitate
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professions is give -- pay people comparably to other professions that we a steam. the issue with teaching, not whether they make -- the amount of money we pay a quality teacher is not commensurate with the money we pay people in another profession. isn't nearly as important socially. >> i also think people with lots of other actions, that is just reality. you have to raise a family. we have to make it financially viable in teaching and education. >> different ways of expressing this question but what is your greatest regret? what is the greatest mistake you fink you have made? >> oh gosh.
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the most significant one i would say in recent days would be i think it is tough. teach for america has grown a lot and we have big priorities around not only becoming bigger and more diverse on the one hand which leads us to put enormous energy into our recruitment process and also requires us to scale up a lot. we have grown from 1,000 to 8 tracks and teachers in the last ten years but we have equally ambitious goals around increasing the measurable impact of teachers during their two years because we think it is critical for their kids and critical for the lessons they learned. in pursuit of that we tried many different things. we put in place measurement systems ourselves that were a very well-intentioned and all sorts of -- tried lots of
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strategies and ultimately if we got into the ins and outs of that you see the limitations of leading with measurable -- measurable results are critical but it is about mort than that and i think the culture that you build and keeping everyone grounded in what this is all about and the spirit of truly putting kids on a different trajectory, creating the right balance between a focus on measurable results and keeping everyone grounded in that spirit at the same time is a puzzle and we fear too much -- i hope we are making it happen around the spirit of things. >> what are you most proud of? >> probably sticking with it. i think this is very challenging work and alongside many other
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people to accomplish great things, takes time and i think persevering and constant learning, grounding ourselves constantly, what are we learning from our most successful corps members and others in communities and the constant evolution of thought is probably what i think is teach for america's strength and what i am proud of i guess. >> malcolm gladwell, wendy copp, thank you very much. [applause] >> for more information about wendy copp and teach for america visit >> what i try to do is we've together bettors that trace footprints large and small of the people from bondage to self-determination from the civil war to the war in iraq and
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as i said from plantations to the glistening white house. the correspondence of unsung slaves and additional soldiers to the additional fathers and mothers, activists, woven together with historical giants, langston hughes and james baldwin, and toni morrison, sojourners truth, frederick douglass, w. e. b. du bois and colin powell. the likely misses of the extraordinary are matched by a poignant letters of the ordinary hand-in-hand share their joy and pain, ecstasy and arctic. this letter is from have grover to her son kato. it was written june 3rd, 1805. my dear son kato, i long to see
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you in my old age. i live in caldwell with the minister of that place. my dear son, i pray you come to see your dear old mother or send me $20 and i will come and see you in philadelphia. when you can see your old mother prey send me a letter and tell me where you live, what family you have and what you do for a living. i am a pour old servant. my master will free me if anyone will engage to maintain the, and love you, katie. you love your mother, you are my only son. this from your affectionate mother, hannah grover.
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my dear son, i will see you at staten island, and 20 years ago. if you send any money, send it to dr. bonner and he will give it to me. if you have any love for your pour old mother, trey come or send to me, my dear son, i love you with all my heart hannah. >> 1858 people and you are a repeat customer. >> writing these few words. >> being sold for men for the name of person.
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i am here but i expect to to that before long. i don't know who to send them by but i will try to send them to you and my children. give my love to my father and my lover and tell them goodbye for me. if we shall not meet in this world i hope to meet them in heaven. my dear wife, for you and my children, this pen cannot express the grief that i feel to be parted from you all. >> we are taken behind the public scholars and activists, dr. martin luther king jr.'s
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letter from a birmingham jail along with his message to his wife who in 1960 he writes from a state prison. >> this is from martin luther king to his wife, coretta scott on october 26, 1860. hello, darling. today i find myself a long way from you and the children. i am at the state prison which is about 230 miles away from atlanta. they picked me up at 4:00 this morning. i know this experience is very difficult for you, especially in the condition of your pregnancy. but as i said to you yesterday, this is the cross that we must bear for the freedom of our people. so i urge you to be strong and safe and this will in turn
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strengthen me. i can assure you that it is extremely difficult to think of being away from you, my little yogi and marty for four months. but i asked god hourly for the power of endurance. i have a faith to believe that this excess of suffering which has now come to our family will in some little way serve to make atlanta at a better city, georgia a better state and america a better country. just power, i do not yet know. but i have the faith to believed it will. and if i am right, then our suffering is not in vain. >> you can watch this and other programs online at >> coming a, nicholas
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phillipsson present a philosopher adam smith biography. examines smith's psychological and economic thinking and explores is best known work, the wealth of nations. this was hosted by the cato institute in washington. it is about 75 minutes. >> i will begin with a few remarks thinking about the cato institute. everyone knows there were a libertarian institution, concerned about human liberty and limits on government. some signs that i recall before the construction company descended on the cato to build our new building back here, there used to be in the front in the tree and to give you a sense of the importance we associate with adam smith, within a small window there was a first edition. not a first printing but a first edition of adam smith's wealth of nations. ..
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is indicative of a and for cato benefactors of mankind incense and highly and not on a benefit or spur mankind. and so, it is very appropriate today we have with us an offer of a new book on adam smith, an intellectual biography, "adam
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smith: an enlightened life." our author today at our first speaker, nicholas philipson was an undergraduate at aberdeen and cabot university with a phd from cambridge in 1967. he was lecturer in history of eden borough in 1965 and subsequently went senior lecturer and reader. he retired from full-time employment in 2004 at whispery worded honorary research fellow. he is held research places the united states and europe. his research is focused on the cultural and intellectual history of early modern and modern scotland with particular interest in the history of the scottish enlightenment. it is french political thought. he is your other project on the same manner cop land and the founder and editor of a new journal, "modern intellectual
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history." she has lectured extensively on this topic today in both europe and the united states. now i hate to add to finish the info and get to where speaker. one reviewer of this book has remarked that the book reveals that adam smith revealed untranslated wholly remarkable, touring bikes. he was excited mostly by buying books, apparently the most exciting that happened was going over to the library's purchase plans, according to this reviewer and of course he was excited by the intellectual ideas. a shame according to this reviewer that it's such a boring life. why wasn't adam smith lake philip larkin who lived a similar life but at least he enjoyed the odd dirty joke. so my question to get professor philipson started is after all
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your research, did you come across any evidence that adam smith enjoyed dirty jokes? [laughter] [applause] >> well now, that's quite a question i don't know if any dirty jokes that adam smith made or responded to. i can't imagine that he might. there is not then, as i say, i am racking my brain in the last 10 seconds of this. there is nothing i can think of in his lectures on rhetoric, intellect and nothing did "the wealth of nations" that begins to >> of smut. and the trouble is there is nothing in his life, virtually
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nothing to suggest he had willing friend that had any emotional entanglements. one of my audience when i was lecturing on this and germany said al qaeda sex? neither sex. there is no inkling of romantic attachments of any sort to the pt. but i'm not actually sure that i agree with my kind reviewer actually, you said that men -- this is actually added up to a boring life. i thank you very much preferring to the introduction because this has been what i have to do by way of correction in introducing you to do certain things i sent out to do and didn't set out to do in writing, and smith's life. now one of the questions i've been asked so often it not true in this book is in some time in
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the making and the question has been asked many times. what on earth is an historian like myself who is no degree in economics, no economics training with the weather, doing writing the biography of the greatest, if i may say so, of all economists, certainly to one of my lay eyes. and i have two answers to this question. one is a weak answer. entities that smith's first biographer, dugald stewart who is a partial pew will was his biographer. in dugald stewart's account of his life and work still played an enormous part in shaping every subsequent thinking. my stronger answer to this question however smith did not
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see himself as an economist he saw himself as a philosopher. and it seems to me -- rather he seemed to me when i was planning this biography and it seemed to me ever since that what an historian could try and do was to see smith and smith saw himself as a philosopher, working in a particular context. are you -- my delivery, which is awful. [inaudible] >> you are turning into. i'm not familiar with such things. >> okay, sorry.
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>> is this going to go down or stay up? last night [laughter] so as they say, might intention was to write a biography of smith as a philosopher and a philosopher who spent a great deal of his early career and raising questions which were essentially philosophical questions about print those of human nature and found himself raising questions in such terms that they impinged on questions about the distribution of economic resources. now, and getting down to the nuts and bolts of how a biography, guided by that principle was to be delivered, i had every biographer of adam smith, has always had the primary, practical problem to address and that problem was the
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appalling shortage of conventional biographical materials. when smith was on his death bed, he summoned his executives. he got them to take out of the cupboard although smith's manuscript remains, his lecture notes, correspondence, drafts of chapters and one optimistically minded yapper for even suggested the text of an unfinished book and i'm not quite sure i believe that. but that the way it goes. and these were all destroyed two weeks before instead. and as smith was one of the most thorough -- one of the most system not take of all philosophers, that was scarier. nothing from that has remained, apart from a handful of of
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unfinished essays or sa cmm finished liking for, which they could publish if they wanted to. >> and added to that, there is the problem that smith himself was a lousy correspondent. one of the minor themes of the correspondent that has remained, the letters he sent to others that were subsequently turned out. one of the enduring themes is that smith never answered letters. it's a constant complaint. he was unlike, for example, so many philosophers of the late indictment like you, lake rousseau, lake d. go, lake voltaire. he did not regard correspondence as communication, which is national to assist ordinary conversation is our god help us, e-mail is now.
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smith wrote letters when there was business to be done and he wrote letters when they would go up by its fans. and they were good enough. but they are not the kind of correspondence we associate with the enlightenment. and then if you turn to the institutions with which smith was connect it during his life, with glasgow university from 1752 to 1753, the university of which he said the happiest and most fruitful years of his life. i am not the only historian who is ransacked the record of glasgow university to track down the records of their greatest professor and in fact a professor who played an extremely at this part and a very responsible part in the management university business.
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to get the institutional record are pretty negative. in the same is true if we turn to the end of smith's life. in 1788 he was appointed pastimes in edinburgh. he cares to really treated as seriously as a the job intended to buy responsible public servant. you'd have thought in the records of any government department, even 18th century government department could remain a highly at this time a senior manager must have survived. there is nothing that is going to change the record. what i'm saying is one of the first tasks that smith's biographer faced is this lack of bio graphical validity. in this present a problem in my
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view come you cannot make a successful biography unless he can have the biographical subjects speak, i'd love voices in biography. the voices that they are, it's not biography to me. but this summary is that if one wants to hear smith speak, the only way you can do it arbeit tending to his two great published works, the "the theory of moral sentiments" and "the wealth of nations" an extraordinary in my view stomach like it series of student lectures taken between 1762 in 1763 others lectures on jurisprudence and none redrick. these are the only places in which smith speaks to us now and
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it seemed to me that these were going to have to be placed at the center of smith's biography. a biography of a lecture into the making of different sorts of tax. lectures on one hand, great biographical text on the other. another problem i had to address early on and that is the meaning of philosophy. it's all very well if it saw himself as a philosopher. but what did philosophy mean in the context of his own life, his own culture? now, smith's particular trade as a philosopher was moral philosophy and by that time -- a
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moral philosophy in which she was trained in the moral philosophy tradition in which he was raised, the european moral philosophy tradition in which he was raised presented moral philosophy as for some people called the queen of the sciences. it was a science you approached having had the classical education, having been educated in logic and metaphysics, having been educated in national philosophy and possibly on the side, mathematics, which we depend on your university. that was a certain framework of his education at glasgow university in 1736, which was 21740 under the great prints countrymen. hutchison smith, and preparing himself for moral philosophy class was lucky. the natural philosophy he was
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taught was taught by someone who is highly sent this to newsstands and to newtonian philosophy. the mathematics he was taught, which i think in my view has been grossly neglected by students of adams smith. he was taught mathematics by one of the greatest if not the greatest of late indictment mathematicians, robertson said, the geometer in the person who revolutionized europe's understanding. smith and i think he is often forgotten, was always a serious map petition. he could teach mathematics is serious mathematicians and did so throughout his life. all of this was and is background before he entered the moral philosophy curricula, before the agenda which he was to develop at glasgow was made apparent.
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and what smith did -- i'm so sorry, but francis hutcheson did was to prevent an first of all to a critical introduction to the moral philosophy as the ancient world and the contemporary world into this tax from the intellectual snags but different sets of philosophies presented to the modern philosopher. he introduced and then to the study is all moral philosophers are bound to do, to the nature -- to the origins of those ideas we have about morality, justice, political obligation, aesthetics and natural religion. those ideas which shaped the civic personality. those ideas which make it possible to live sociability in a modern civil society. and he was also introduced to hutchison notion that these
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ideas should be thought of as sentiments, of which we would cover in the course of ordinary life in which everything philosophically about them, we will find to be controlled by a principle in human nature, the moral sense. hutchison introduced into the idea that if you want to crack this the queen of the sciences, you would understand the origins of the sentiments. you must understand the working of the moral sense. and in doing that, you will be able to function as a free citizen in the modern policy. now, what i want to call attention to is what smith does with this sort of agenda. he gives the point i try to build my book around is th


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